Summer Panzanella with Squash

Though pattypan squash is my top choice, you can use any summer squash you have on hand to make this bright, bold late summer panzanella.

Patty pan Squash Panzanella

Hold your pumpkin bread – I have one last super summery recipe before this season really ends. You can use any summer squash you like here (zucchini or yellow squash are both great), but I found pattypan squash at the farmers market and had to try it! I considered making a totally different pattypan squash recipe by stuffing and baking it, but I didn’t want to turn the oven on.

Then I noticed that I had some really stale bread, so this hearty, delicious pattypan squash panzanella was an obvious choice. I’m a HUGE fan of panzanellas, or Italian bread salads (see here, here, and here), so don’t know why it took me the whole summer to think of this one.

Pattypan squash

How to Make this Pattypan Squash Recipe

If you’ve never cooked with pattypan squash before, they’re a little different from other summer squash. They have a funky shape similar to that of flying saucers – short, squat, and round – and their texture is a bit more firm.

Because of the squash’s funny shape, cutting it uniformly can be tricky. Do the best that you can – I usually opt for chopping them into small wedges. Once your pattypan squash is chopped, toss it on your grill or grill pan. You can also roast it in the oven if you like. Either way, cook it until your pieces are lightly golden brown around the outside.

Then, cut up some stale crusty bread! Sourdough is my preference, but a multi-grain bread would work too.

Pattypan squash recipe ingredients

Toss the cooked squash and bread together with juicy halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, creamy mini mozzarella balls, garlic, olive oil, and a big drizzle of sherry vinegar. I garnish it all with sliced basil and toasted pine nuts for crunch.

Dig in! Or better yet, let your panzanella sit at room temperature for a few minutes. That way, the bread will have a chance to soak up the flavorful juices.

Pattypan squash recipe ingredients in bowls

What to Serve with Pattypan Squash Panzanella

Whether I’m eating it as a main or side dish, I love to enjoy this pattypan squash salad with a summery glass of rosé. As the bread absorbs the vinegar and tomato juices, this panzanella only gets better, so it’s a great one to make ahead to take to a picnic. If you’re hosting, serve it alongside any classic picnic fare – veggie burgers, black bean burgers, BBQ sandwiches, or grilled portobellos are some of my go-tos.

Alternatively, embrace the Italian flavors in this pattypan squash recipe and serve it as a starter with pasta pomodoro or summer vegetable lasagna.

And if you have summer squash left over, make chocolate zucchini cake or zucchini bread for dessert.

Pattypan Squash Panzanella

Looking for more pattypan squash recipes?

Try them in this roasted vegetable pasta, this summer squash pasta, these veggie tacos, or this zucchini pizza next!

4.9 from 10 reviews

Pattypan Squash Panzanella

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This bright, bold summer salad is a great showcase for pattypan squash. I find mine at the farmers market, but if you don't have any on hand, zucchini or yellow squash would work here too.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-3
  • 5-6 small pattypan squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • sherry vinegar, for drizzling
  • ½ cup mini mozzarella balls, sliced in half (skip if vegan)
  • 4-5 slices stale sourdough bread, sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • big handful of torn fresh basil leaves
  • generous pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a grill pan to medium. Toss the squash pieces with a drizzle of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place the squash onto the grill pan and grill each side until the squash is tender and char marks form (about 2 minutes per side).
  2. Place the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, the minced garlic, a drizzle of sherry vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss again.
  3. When the squash is done, add it to the bowl along with mozzarella, bread, pine nuts, and basil.
  4. Add more olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Let the salad sit at room temp for about 15 minutes so that the bread has the chance to soak up the flavorful juices.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Victoria

    What a great recipe! I’ve made panzanella before but never thought about using squash in mine. Now I will!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Victoria, glad you loved it!

  2. Maricelle

    The Pattypan squash panzanella salad is soooo delicious!!!!. All the ingredients compliment each other, the toasted pine nuts and sherry vinegar made this salad unforgettable.
    Thank you Jeanine, your recipes are memorable!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Marguerite

    Healthy and delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe! I added chickpeas instead of mozzarella to keep it vegan, and it turned out great.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Steph

    Absolutely delicious, needs more salt than you might think. We added a ton of mozza, and had to use dried basil instead of fresh and it was so so yummy.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.